Sharp learning curve ahead

Peace Corps Online: Directory: Morocco: Peace Corps Morocco : The Peace Corps in Morocco: February 13, 2006: Headlines: COS - Morocco: Protest: Speaking Out: Ashland Daily Tidings: Derek Volkart takes out his anger through helping others in Morocco : 2006.03.10: March 10, 2006: Headlines: COS - Morocco: Ashland Daily Tidings: Lew Nash says: I too was a kid outraged by the military-industrial complex and cold-war blindness when I joined the Peace Corps in 1962 and volunteered two years in Morocco : Sharp learning curve ahead

By Robben Romano (63.201.13.228) on Monday, March 27, 2006 - 2:26 pm: Edit Post

Volunteers represent the Peace Corps, not their own interests. The Peace Corps is not an outlet for any individual's agenda, be it political, social, environmental, religious or economic. Anyone who goes in with a 'mission' or primarily as a negative response to the current administration will not have the most important goal in mind: to assist and enable the host county to deal with issues and situations that are locally determined. Based on his self-focused behavior, I think it was extremely generous of the Peace Corps to offer Volkart an alternative site. I think his lack of abilty to see the 'big picture' does not bode well for his Peace Corps service.

As a volunteer in Estonia, a 'friendly' political ally, I was called on on a daily basis to present the most enpowering messages to my colleagues, including discussion about things that were happening socially and politically in the US that I did not agree with. But the important message is not about the US - that egocentric and myopic focus does nothing to improve a volunteer's work in a host country: the message is "It's important to vote in your own country to bring in the government that you want." That's a difficult enough concept for people who have no experience with democracy without confusing them by running down the US government. The same attitude -"I voted and it didn't make any difference" - that is used by many Americans as an excuse not to participate in the election process is easily adopted by people with little or no experience. The issue is not whether a volunteer agrees or disagrees with the current administration; the issue is that democracy and the process of elections and civil responsibility are the basis for the freedoms that we enjoy in this country.

Read the literature: sharing the range of American culture, systems and values with local people and learning about their culture, combined with teaching English, business development, NGO developemnt or whatever the host country needs, are the Peace Corps' mission.

By Fact Checker (66.241.86.44) on Tuesday, March 28, 2006 - 1:48 pm: Edit Post

"The issue is not whether a volunteer agrees or disagrees with the current administration; the issue is that democracy and the process of elections and civil responsibility are the basis for the freedoms that we enjoy in this country."

Do you mean the democracy that the U.S. government has worked to undermine in countries all over the world? (See the majority of Latin America). Or do you mean current democracies that we don't like even though they are legit? (see Hamas and Venezuela). Perhaps you were referring to our democracy - the one where we purged thousands from the voter roles back in 2000 if their last names matched those of a convicted felon.

Does expressing one's view or using the "f" word mean one lacks an ability to see the "big picture?" How is it that everyone is a "terrorist" and nobody is a "fascist?" Do the comments the volunteer made in the newspaper fully represent the volunteer's attitude or mission for service? - perhaps you have read his essays and aspiration statements?

By MajorOz (ppp037.man.centurytel.net - 64.91.46.115) on Thursday, May 04, 2006 - 12:07 am: Edit Post

"Do you mean the democracy that the U.S. government has worked to undermine in countries all over the world? (See the majority of Latin America)."

citations please (post WWII)

"Or do you mean current democracies that we don't like even though they are legit?"

Like the French?

"Perhaps you were referring to our democracy - the one where we purged thousands from the voter roles back in 2000 if their last names matched those of a convicted felon."

...Oh, my Gawd; there are still election conspiracy loons running around loose

"Does expressing one's view or using the "f" word mean one lacks an ability to see the "big picture?" '

Usually

"How is it that everyone is a "terrorist" and nobody is a "fascist?" '

Is there a point here?

"Do the comments the volunteer made in the newspaper fully represent the volunteer's attitude or mission for service?"

No idea........but Stalin's love for his grandchildren and his cats did not FULLY represent his attitude either.

cheers

oz, MIcro-61


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